Never Cross the Same River Twice (Chapter 2: Transhistorical Investigations) embraces expansive videographies that aim to foster new forms of transnational and collective assembly. Curated by French-Togolese independent curator Kisito Assangni and Greek-British curator Ariana Kalliga, the exhibition forms a time-shifting survey of performances converging between video, film and installation. Initiated as a travelling research project in 2020, the exhibition connects two borders that unfold in tandem, tracing the recent video practices of 11 international artists selected by Assangni and six contemporary Greek video artists invited into dialogue by space52, Athens.
The selected video works act as sites of visual contestation; cinematic aesthetics with narratives that re-remember; they reclaim histories and ancestries; decolonize both the mind and the imagination. Referencing Heraclitus’ river, which conceived identity as an ever-evolving and fluctuating entity, the title of the exhibition is a call to invent new grounds in place of entrenched environmental, political, and regulatory systems.
The participating artists tackle subjects that challenge us to reflect on the changing world in which we live, reclaiming lived realities and public domains. Exploring the limits of film as activism, several of the works reflect what Argentinian scholar Walter D. Mignolo termed the “epistemic disobedience and decolonial freedom” needed to rebuild just and non-colonial futures.
From a “coming community” to a planetary escape, the exhibition opens up uncanny spectral exits to new geopolitical imaginaries. Accompanied by a parallel series of bi-weekly screenings and talks, including a night organized by the Athens School of Fine Arts (LAB12), Never Cross the Same River Twice aims to expand and densify the interconnected motifs weaved through the exhibition program; history, ancestry, ethnography, spirituality, memory, colonization, Afrofuturism, feminism, diaspora, identity, globalization, consumerism, myth.
“Never Cross the Same River Twice, Chapter 2: Transhistorical Investigations”
curated by Kisito Assangni and Ariana Kalliga
Space52, Athens, Until 25th September 2021
The project is supported by the NEON Organization and Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (PCAI).
Curators: Kisito Assangni and Ariana Kalliga | Project Advisor: space52 Founder, Dionisis Christofilogiannis
Communications Coordinator: Dimitra Michail | Design: Pantelis Vitaliotis-Magneto & Virginia Russolo
Public Program Guest Curators: Argyro Nicolaou, Samantha Ozer, Evi Roumani (LAB12, Athens School of Fine Arts), Menelaos Karamaghiolis
space52 is an Athens-based nonprofit hosting an annual program of exhibitions, publications, and resident practitioners that aim to expand critically engaged dialogues around contemporary art practice in Greece. space52 was founded in 2017 by Dionisis Christofilogiannis, a multidisciplinary artist based in Athens and a Professor of Fine Art at the American College of Greece. Recent exhibitions include EMST – National Museum of Contemporary Art Greece, MOMus Thessaloniki, and Biennale 6: Thessaloniki.
Participating artists, Part I: Monica de Miranda, Moataz Nasr, Harold Offeh, Ahmet Öğüt, Longinos Nagila, Gilivanka Kedzior, Daisuke Takeya, Emo de Medeiros, Marinella Senatore, Sammy Baloji and Lazara Rosell Albear | Participating artists, Part II: Valentina Karga, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Mary Zygouri, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Eva Papamargariti and George Drivas
images: (cover 1) Harold Offeh, «Two Positions, 2016». Courtesy of the artist (2) Moataz Nasr, «The Mountain», 2016. Courtesy of the artist (3) Ahmet Ugut, «The Missing T», 2018. Courtesy of the artist (4) Longinos Nagila, «Hands That Built The City», 2019. Courtesy of the artist